In the next couple of days, we will witness one of the most significant wealth transfers in history. The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, is reportedly finalizing his divorce in early July, handing over USD 38 billion in Amazon shares to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos.
The Bezos’ divorce settlement is believed to be the largest in history after the art dealer Alec Wildenstein paid $2.5 billion to his former spouse Joselyn in 1999.
Once the judge signs the transfer of shares, the former Mrs. Bezos would become the world’s fourth-richest woman. The 49-year-old novelist already pledged to donate at least half of her wealth to charity.
She officially declared her wish to share her wealth in a letter to the Giving Pledge, the philanthropic initiative established by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, to encourage world’s wealthiest people to give away a significant portion of their money to charity.
Among the other Giving Pledge members are the British hedge fund billionaire David Harding, the co-founder of WhatsApp Brian Acton, as well as Paul Sciarra, the co-founder of Pinterest. Mark Zuckerberg, Bloomberg’s founder Michael Bloomberg, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and many other entrepreneurs were among the first to join Giving Pledge shortly after it was established.
MacKenzie’s former husband welcomed her decision with a dedicated tweet, saying he proud he was of her. Bezos himself has not become a member of the Giving Pledge. Instead, he donated USD 2 billion, or a bit less than 2% of his wealth, to the Bezos Day One Fund. The charity organization targets homelessness as well as children from unprivileged backgrounds.
MacKenzie Bezos has not specified yet the causes she intended to donate. However, her past charitable actions revealed she was involved in numerous charity projects, including financing education of undocumented immigrants, research on cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as marriage equality.
Despite paying out USD 38 billion in the divorce settlement, Jeff Bezos would remain the wealthiest person on Earth, having a fortune of USD 118 billion. Apart from that, Jeff Bezos would also retain other assets, among which the Washington Post and space-exploration company Blue Origin, his former spouse MacKenzie revealed in a tweet in April.
MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos got married in 1993, a year before he started Amazon from his garage in Seattle. They announced plans for divorce in January 2019, after Jeff Bezos’ extramarital affair with his now-girlfriend Lauren Sanchez became public.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose the statement that MacKenzie Bezos deserves half the wealth of her ex-husband?